Fran excitedly hops into the conference room where Accounting is meeting and is just thrilled that she just landed one of the biggest accounts of her career and the largest in the company’s history. Rather than the excited response she anticipated, she was riddled with questions about how the contract was going to be implemented.
Uninhibited by expressing herself, she quickly answered their questions. While Fran brings in sales results, accounting is often frustrated by, what they see, as her lack of follow through especially in filling out required expense and sales reports. Fran considers the reports just minor details that get in the way of her outcomes. Of course, this often makes her more detailed counterparts cringe wondering what she missed in negotiating the contract.
Fran is naturally hardwired to focus on the results. While her accounting counterparts also want the results, they are also looking at the correct and detailed information. Because of her hardwiring, Fran looks at rules as guidelines while her counterparts look at the rules as the book to be followed. This inherent difference is the result of each person’s hardwiring and how they go about reaching those results. It also will determine what they think or feel is important.
While there are strengths and limitations to every combination of hardwiring, the key is to leverage that hardwiring.
How do you Leverage Strengths?
Someone, like Fran, who is naturally wired with a high degree of freedom needs a work environment where they have the latitude to think outside the box and take the steps to achieve the desired results. People who have this trait do their best work in environments where there are little structures and they have the flexibility in their approach. An example of such environments includes companies that are launching new products or new business lines where they need to tread in new markets. The natural strength in people naturally wired with a high degree of freedom, is their natural ability to think outside the box to achieve the desired results. Treading in new markets is just the challenge they need.
How Do You Manage Your Hardwiring When It Gets in the Way of Success?
As with all hardwiring, there are down sides when an individual is who doesn’t feel a strong obligation to do things strictly by the book. If left unmanaged, you may see certain reports or details the individual feels is not important. If you’re wired this way, you may see things fall through the cracks particularly if you have nobody to delegate to.
If you’re wired this way, remember to:
Identify Assistance. Hire someone who is wired to like the details and follow through for you especially the routine, repetitive details that are a necessary part of doing business.
Assess the Environment You’re Working In. If you’re working in a conventional or established environment, it could be de-energizing for you. Since you’re naturally open and receptive to new ideas and change, make sure your environment provides the latitude you inherently need.
Know your Audience. One of your natural gifts is that you tend to be more casual and this often helps in developing relationships. This frank style of communication isn’t always appreciated especially in formal environments. Know your audience especially when your clients tend to be more on the formal or structured side and may need more details from you and require a different style of communication.
When you’re interacting with someone who is flexible where rules are only guidelines, rather than the book to be followed, remember these tips:
Focus on the Outcomes. If you’re tendency is to provide a lot of detail, you’ll lose people who focus on the outcomes. When speaking to someone outcomes-focused and who doesn’t need a lot of detail, talk in bullet points and the results that need to be achieved rather than exactly how to get there.
Provide an Assistant for the Details. If the details are necessary to the outcomes, make sure there is a mechanism for delegating unimportant details. Explain how those details allow you to measure outcomes and how it affects the big picture.
When a client was in a rut, we looked at his hardwiring and discovered that he was not hardwired for details but he was trying to execute routine, repetitive details. Not only was he de-energized, but he needed to focus on the results of the job.
After identifying the details and an assistant, he was able to quickly bring in more business. Why? He was again using his natural hardwiring by delegating the routine details. He then could do what he did well – bring in business and bring in new clients. This was a win-win for:
· The client – because he was energized performing work using his natural hardwiring.
· The organization – because they would have more energized employees using their talents and generating more outcomes. This ultimately has a trickle down impact on the customers.
Denying this hardwiring for long periods of time actually de-energizes an individual. Getting the hardwiring met and aligning your business growth plans with it, yields increased results more quickly. Understanding your hardwiring is critical to growing a sustainable business.
Lisa Mininni is the Best Selling Author of Me, Myself, and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change and President of Excellerate Associates, home of The Entrepreneurial Edge SystemTM, the only national developmental and marketing program showing entrepreneurs how to put their personal, client and revenue goals on the fast track. For more information and a free eBook on what you need to grow your business, visit http://www.freebusinessplanformat.com.